Efforts towards availing help to residents of Marsabit County who are experiencing serious prolonged drought have continued to attract the attention of well-wishers in a bid to rescue lives of both people and animals.
The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) made the entry to the list of supporters by donating foodstuffs, water and livestock fodder to the hard-hit residents of North Horr sub-county.
WWF’s Head of Conservation, Jackson Kiplagat, said during the flagging off of trucks to ferry the Sh500, 000 worth of relief aid at the county headquarters in Marsabit town, that the famine situation in Marsabit was dire and required quick intervention in order to alleviate suffering.
Mr Kiplagat said the package that targets about 1,000 families contained rice, cooking oil and maize flour.
The organization also extended assistance of 10 tankers of clean water and 2000 bales of hay to the afflicted. “This is an initiative by WWF to assist the residents of Marsabit County who are staring at hunger during this difficult time of severe drought,” he said.
Citing an assessment by the National Drought Management Authority (NDMA), Mr Kiplagat pointed out that North Horr Constituency was among parts of the county hard hit by prolonged drought adding that climate change had worsened the situation.
He appealed to organizations and well-wishers to come forward and assist those reeling under famine in order to avert loss of lives.
Receiving the donation on behalf of the County Commissioner, Marsabit Central DCC, David Saruni, pointed out that the drought condition in the region was getting worse by the day.
Mr Saruni while thanking the organization for the donation said the dry spell had caused intense movement of people and their livestock in search of grazing resources.
Regrettably convergence of migrating herders in grazing areas with scarce pasture and watering points has created conflicts among herders and even livestock theft.
The DCC disclosed that the National Government through the NDMA has distributed relief food worth Sh1.3 billion in the county since the onset of famine.
In addition, Mr Saruni said 20,000 families were now fully enlisted into the cash transfer programme across the county.
The function was attended by among others the county NDMA County Coordinator, Henry Parkolwa, and his NEMA counterpart Vincent Oloo.
Mr Parkolwa said that 200,000 families in Marsabit County are experiencing hunger and were thus in urgent need of humanitarian aid.
The coordinator further cautioned that the meteorological department’s prediction is that the region could suffer rain failure in the expected March- May rainy season.
Mr Parkolwa appealed to local pastoralist communities to embrace peace and share the little available grazing resources amicably.
By Sebastian Miriti